This year I endeavored to keep a nice garden.  The biggest job, after the soil has been worked and the seeds planted, is weeding.  Early on, when the seedlings are all very young, it can be difficult to tell the difference between some weed seedlings and the ones you want, so I tend to let some of them get more established before I pull them.  It took a lot of work, but between planting the vegetables on little berms and watering only the berms, I have the garden relatively weed free, except for some morning glory that never goes away unless you blast the whole garden several times with Roundup before planting.

But something struck me along the way.  Even now, months into it, I find weeds that are mature, “hiding” among the desirable plants.  They have a color or a shape just similar enough that we don’t see them among the vegetables unless we look very carefully.  Several of us have taken it upon ourselves to hunt down and pull the weeds, but still a few of them can be found, growing and maturing, feeding off of the water, nutrients and sunlight intended for the vegetables, and producing seeds that will hang around until next spring.  Then the battle starts all over again.

Although there are many good techniques for keeping them in check, the weeds still find a way to exist and suck some of the life out of the garden, even if it’s just a little bit.  It is a never-ending battle that you never really “win”, see, but it can be rewarding all the same if you keep your eyes open and do what needs to be done.

As the Republicans are frantically trying to figure out just what it is they should pretend to believe during the upcoming election, and while we stand here and complain to each other that “we can’t vote our way out of this” there are organizations already in place already doing something about it and already having a positive effect.  Even if “we who uphold the principles of liberty” win and win and win, one election after another, we can never stop tending this garden.  There is never any final victory after which you can let your guard down and just live.  Life is like that.  We can complain about how the weeds have just totally taken over the garden, and yet who’s fault is that?

Weeds are what they are– we know exactly what they are and how they operate.  We know that they aren’t going to disappear from the Earth.  We also know what the vegetables are and what they need to thrive, right?  So…

(Sorry if you don’t like allegory.  For some reason I’m seeing it all over the place lately, as though life itself is one big set of metaphors and allegories.  I get on a kick like this for a while, and then it’s on to another.  It’ll pass)

1 thought on “Gardening

  1. I think that’s a really good analogy. It’s something that pretty much anyone can relate to, because almost everyone (even city kids) know what weeds are, if only relating it to grass growing in the cracks in the concrete. Building on an already understood reference is known as “scaffolding” in education theory. In this case, it’s something that has good visuals, too, so it is more effective.

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